Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > "can i h3lp u?": Analyzing Chat Reference Questions in a Special Collections Library

This study examines the types of questions asked via chat reference in a special collections library at a public university. Examining a year of chat transcripts (115 transcripts in total), this study categorized questions as research, ready reference, directional, policy and procedural, holdings/do you own, and reproduction requests. It also examined whether questions asked via chat were answered entirely within the chat conversation or if the staff referred the patron to email in order to answer the question at a later time. The study found that 36.7% of total questions were research questions and that 45% of questions were answered completely in chat while 55% were referred to email.